© FAO/Basterretxea,Txaran

The curtain of 2018 came down, and as we begin the year e-Agriculture is hopeful to main the 2017 momentum in facilitating the dialogue, information exchange and sharing ideas related to the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in agriculture and rural development.

We are looking forward, first and foremost, to the launch of a newly improved and redesigned platform under the FAO Domain. This will provide the community with a corporate look at feel and while maintaining the core- services, such as News, Blogs, Forum Discussions and other capacity development activities, such as webinars and short-paced learning activities.

On the actual activities, we are looking ahead into 2018 to restarting forum discussions around topical subjects within ICTs; webinars that are collaboratively organised with the community and also unpacking new concepts in self-paced e-Agriculture learning activities. Themes such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Precision Agriculture, Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, are slowly emerging in the discussion of ICTs for agriculture. Already, the platform has started to cover these areas, however, the community members are free to suggest a topics by sending an e-mail.

In retrospect, e-Agriculture team held a number of activities which includes the two successful e-forum discussions The Role of ICTs in Sustainable Crop Production Intensification (SCPI) of horticulture crop based system (mainly fruits, vegetables, roots and tubers) and the e-Forum on ICTs and Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition.

These saw more than 181 posts on the platform and brought in more than 600 new registered users. Also in the highlight are a number of capacity development activities these include the 16 e-Agriculture Webinars, which generated more than 470 participants and the e-Agriculture Learning Activity on drones in Agriculture. The learning activity saw 720 registered participants who followed the course, participated in a number of live sessions.

The call for Good and Promising Practices in Agriculture was successful and it saw 22 submissions with 15 selected and reviewed with partners, of which 3 were presented in respective webinars.

The diary from the community and partners predicts a busy 2018 with regards to ICT4D, for example the WSIS Forum 2018 is on the 19- 23 March where FAO and ITU are co-sponsoring the #HackAgainstHunger, then on the 8-10 May Zambia hosts the ICT4D Conference, and a number of webinars in the community. Let us know if you have events planned out for 2018 within ICT4Ag.


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